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Research Papers

Design of Translational and Rotational Bistable Actuators Based on Dielectric Elastomer

[+] Author and Article Information
Nianfeng Wang

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Precision Equipment and Manufacturing Technology,
School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering,
South China University of Technology,
Guangzhou 510640, China
e-mail: menfwang@scut.edu.cn

Chaoyu Cui

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Precision Equipment and Manufacturing Technology,
School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering,
South China University of Technology,
Guangzhou 510640, China
e-mail: 284479754@qq.com

Bicheng Chen

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Precision Equipment and Manufacturing Technology,
School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering,
South China University of Technology,
Guangzhou 510640, China
e-mail: 757822827@qq.com

Hao Guo

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Precision Equipment and Manufacturing Technology,
School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering,
South China University of Technology,
Guangzhou 510640, China
e-mail: 2528311560@qq.com

Xianmin Zhang

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Precision Equipment and Manufacturing Technology,
School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering,
South China University of Technology,
Guangzhou 510640, China
e-mail: zhangxm@scut.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received September 11, 2018; final manuscript received April 10, 2019; published online May 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Shaoping Bai.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 11(4), 041011 (May 17, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: JMR-18-1295; doi: 10.1115/1.4043602 History: Received September 11, 2018; Accepted April 11, 2019

Dielectric elastomer (DE), as a group of electro-active polymers, has been widely used in soft robotics due to its inherent flexibility and large induced deformation. As sustained high voltage is needed to maintain the deformation of DE, it may result in electric breakdown for a long-period actuation. Inspired by the bistable mechanism which has two stable equilibrium positions and can stay at one of them without energy consumption, two bistable dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) including a translational actuator and a rotational actuator are proposed. Both the bistable actuators consist of a double conical DEA and a buckling beam and can switch between two stable positions with voltage. In this paper, the analytical models of the bulking beam and the conical DEA are presented first, and then the design method is demonstrated in terms of force equilibrium and moment equilibrium principle. The experiments of the translational bistable DEA and the rotational bistable DEA are conducted, which show that the design method of the bistable DEA is effective.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Illustration of translational bistable DEA: (a) stable equilibrium position P1, (b) stable equilibrium position P2, and (c) precompressed cross-like buckling beam

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Fig. 2

Deformation path of the clamped–clamped beam subjected to transverse force at the middle point: (a) asymmetric deformation and (b) symmetric deformation

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Fig. 3

Illustration of rotational bistable DEA: (a) equilibrium stable position P1 and (b) equilibrium stable position P2

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Fig. 4

A simple beam subjected to loads at a free end

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Fig. 5

Illustration of the chained beam constraint model

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Fig. 6

Illustration of the fixed-guided beam (a) the fixed-translational guided beam and (b) the fixed-circular guide beam

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Fig. 7

Illustration of the translational conical DEA

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Fig. 8

Illustration of the rotational DEA (a) the electrode pattern and (b) the side view of rotational DEAs

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Fig. 9

Schematic of the experiment setup. (a) The force–displacement experiment setup: 1, laser displacement sensor; 2, specimen stage that is used to install the cross-like buckling beam and translational DEAs; 3, probe of the load cell; 4, load cell; 5, screw slide module. (b) The moment–deflection angle experiment setup: 1, specimen stage that is used to install the clamped-circular guided beam and rotational DEAs; 2, specimen; 3, nylon rope; 4, connection part; 5, load cell; 6, screw slide module.

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Fig. 10

The force–displacement relation of the cross-like buckling beam

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Fig. 11

The force–displacement relation of the translational conical DEA

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Fig. 12

Schematic of the clamped-circular guided beam test

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Fig. 13

The moment–deflection angle relation of the clamped-circular guided beam

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Fig. 14

The moment–deflection angle relation of the rotational conical DEA

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Fig. 15

The working principle of the translational bistable DEA

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Fig. 16

Force equilibrium of the designed prototype

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Fig. 17

Prototype of the translational bistable DEA: (a) buckling of the cross-like beam, (b) position P1, and (c) position P2

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Fig. 18

The working principle of the rotational bistable DEA

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Fig. 19

The moment equilibrium of the designed prototype

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Fig. 20

Prototype of the rotational bistable DEA (a) the clamped-circular guided beam, (b) position P2, (c) position P3, and (d) position P1

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